Steelers select Curtis Brown in third round

CURTIS BROWNCornerbackUniversity of Texas Longhorns5:11.5-185Gilmer, TexasGilmer High School3rd Round – 95th OverallQuotes from Curtis Brown and Defensive Backs Coach Carnell Lake below the bio* Carnell Lake on Curtis Brown - Video
CAREER NOTES**Started 27-of-52 games for Texas, 12 of them at left cornerback, 11 at right corner back, four at nickel back and two at dime back…recorded 108 tackles (82 solos) with 2.5 stops for combined losses of 13 yards…caused one fumble…gained 151 yards with one touchdown on two interceptions (75.50 avg.)…deflected 17 pass attempts…blocked one punt and notched one quarterback pressure…gained 199 yards on 14 punt returns (14.21 avg.).

2010 SEASONAll-Big Twelve Conference second-team selection…earned Big Twelve Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors vs. Texas Tech…member of Watch Lists for the Bronko Nagurski (top college defender) and Jim Thorpe Awards (top college defensive back)…played in all 12 games, starting 10 contests at left cornerback, as he came off the bench vs. Oklahoma and Baylor…recorded 23 tackles (14 solos), including a two-yard stop for loss…key member of a secondary that finished second in the second in the Big Twelve and sixth in the country in pass defense (161.58 ypg), as well as fifth in the league and 36th nationally in pass efficiency defense (118.92 avg.)…registered one interception, gaining 74 yards on the return…deflected four other pass attempts, including three on third-down attempts.

2009 SEASONAll-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention…recipient of the Frank Denius Award as Texas' Most Valuable Special Teams Player…started all 14 games, 10 at right cornerback, two at nickel, one at left cornerback and another in dime…ranked eighth among Longhorns defenders with 47 tackles (34 solos), including 1.5 stops for combined losses of 11 yards…key member of a secondary that finished second in the Big Twelve and 19th in the country in pass defense (179.57 ypg), as well as third in the conference and 10th nationally in pass efficiency defense (100.48 avg.)…registered one interception, gaining 77 yards with a touchdown on the return…deflected seven pass attempts…caused one fumble and blocked one punt.

2008 SEASONPlayed in all 13 games with four starts, two at nickel, one at right cornerback and another in dime…recorded 28 tackles (23 solos)…key member of a secondary that finished seventh in the Big Twelve and 104th in the country in pass defense (259.38 ypg), as well as second in the conference and 59th nationally in pass efficiency defense (124.21 avg.)…registered five pass deflections and added one quarterback pressure.

2007 SEASONPlayed in all 13 games as a reserve defensive back and on special teams…had 13 tackles (11 solos) with one pass deflection.

HIGH SCHOOLGilmer High School (TX),playing football for head coach Jeff Traylor…two-time All-State selection…earned 3A All-Attended State first-team honors by the Associated Press and the Texas Sport Writers Association as a senior…Super Team first-team choice by Dave Campbell's Texas Football…participated in the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a member of the West team…started at receiver as a junior and senior and at cornerback as a sophomore…concluded his prep career with 119 receptions for 2,183 yards (18.34 ypc) and 25 touchdowns, adding 1,022 yards with 10 more scores on 78 carries (13.10 ypc)…recorded 76 tackles with 23 pass deflections and five interceptions on defense…led the Gilmer Buckeyes to a 10-1 overall record as a senior while contributing 970 yards with 14 touchdowns on 40 receptions (24.25 ypc) and 168 yards with another score on 16 carries (10.50 ypc)…added 15 tackles on defense…named District 15-3A Most Valuable Player as a junior while helping his team to a 10-2 overall record…contributed 974 yards with 10 touchdowns on 63 receptions (15.46 ypc) and 750 yards with eight more scores on 47 carries (15.96 ypc)…added 15 tackles and five pass deflections on defense…named District Newcomer of the Year and 13-3A Sophomore of the Year while helping Gilmer claim the 2004 Class 3A Division II State Championship title with a perfect 16-0 overall record…delivered 46 tackles, 18 pass deflections and five interceptions, adding 239 yards with a touchdown on 16 receptions (14.94 ypc) and 104 with another score on 15 carries (6.93 ypc)…given the highest rating of five-stars by Rivals.com, as that recruiting service listed him as the second-best cornerback and 21st overall prospect in the nation, as well as the fourth-best recruit in the state of Texas…also rated a five-star prospect by Scout.com, who ranked him as the third-best cornerback recruit in the country…also excelled as a sprinter and long jumper on Gilmer's track and field squad, recording a 10.6 in the 100-meter dash.PERSONALYouth and Communication Studies major…raised by his paternal grandmother since he was six weeks old…father, Aundray Taylor, played football as a freshman at Oklahoma State in 1978…uncle, Hosea Taylor, was a defensive end for the Baltimore Colts in 1981 and 1983 after playing college football at the University of Houston (1977-80)…helped victims of Hurricane Katrina with his church during his prep days…born 9/24/88 in Longview, Texas.

Curtis Brown Conference CallHow do you feel?I can't explain. It's just, I can't explain. I really can't.

Re: Fitting in for the Steelers:When I went up there I felt a family atmosphere. I am a real country dude and a family-type person. When I went up there I felt welcomed. I felt at home when I went up there. I just feel like I am not a part of a great and wonderful organization. I couldn't be happier.Re: Sitting and waiting all day for your name to be called:I was getting real nervous because I have so much family up here. We have a big crawfish little thing. I just feel like I was going to slip all the way down. Re: Visit in Pittsburgh leading to Steelers calling your name:I felt they treated me so well that I just felt like they clicked with me and I clicked with them. They had one of the last picks and I felt you all would pick me just because the coaching staff and I clicked so good. It felt right. It's just a blessing.Re: Intercepting Colt McCoy at Texas:I got him plenty of times.
Can you do that in the AFC North?You know it. I am going to prove. I am just ready to step in and do whatever I can to get on the field, special teams and gain trust with the coaches. And when I am able to get out there and get to be a starter, then I will be a player.

Re: What you do best and your room for improvement:Just growing as a player, techniques, film studies and I feel like I can cover real well. I feel like I have good speed. With the coaching staff up there I will just keep learning different techniques and going and getting the ball and just learn to be a complete player. I will learn step-by-step.

Did teams shy away from throwing in your direction?I didn't see too many balls. I didn't get a ball until my sixth game in the season. I just really didn't get thrown at. I didn't have too many opportunities.

Re: You made a catch in the NFL combine that Deion Sanders raved about.  I'm surprised you only had two picks.At Texas we're a real man team and we didn't play that much zone, so I was never really in. It was always man coverage, so I didn't get that many opportunities from a zone standpoint.  But I did get plenty of opportunities there; I just didn't get as many picks as I could have.  I didn't get called on either, so I think I need to work on going to get the ball.  That's my next step and that's what I'm going to keep working on.
How different will what you're asked to do here be from what you were asked to do in college?I'm a student, I'm going to learn. I know there will be veterans in there that will teach me different techniques for the zones and things. I'm not worried. I feel like I learn real well. I'm ready for any challenge that comes my way. I'll learn it.

Do you know Limas Sweed and Casey Hampton?I know Limas, I played with Limas. Casey Hampton was a little older than me so I didn't really get to mingle with him as much. Me and Limas, with all the freshman, I was guarding him a lot.

How did you do against him?We had our battles. We have a couple stories with each other. He helped me a lot.

You say you are a country boy.  Where are you from?East Texas. It's right under Street Point, Louisiana, and right on the other side of Arkansas. We're two hours from Dallas. That's the closest city.

Lake said you are the best cover corner out of Texas.  Are you better than Aaron Williams?We have our talents. I'm better at some things just as he's better than me at some things. Covering wise, I'm going to take that and say I was the best covering corner at Texas.

Did you debate on which Texas corners would be drafted?We push each other. We haven't even really talked much in the last couple days. It's never been like that though.

What is your best 40 time?4.37, and my average at college was a 4.45.

There's a YouTube clip of you picking off a pass going about 70, but getting caught from behind.  What was that about?I don't like making excuses, so I don't want to say because it will make me look like I make excuses, but it was a 12-play drive and I had lower back problems. Either way, he's a fast tailback. I'm going to give him his props.

Do you know who he is?No, but I actually met him in Pittsburgh and I didn't know who he was, but he was in the opposite room as me, so we got to meet.

When you visited Pittsburgh?Yes, he was one of the visitors. I got to meet him, he's really cool. But I don't like him because he caught me.

Defensive Backs Coach Carnell Lake on Curtis Brown
Re: Curtis Brown's Attributes:Curtis Brown is a quick cornerback from Texas that probably was one of their best cover-corners coming out. They had three corners coming out this year: Aaron Williams was the first corner taken and Curtis was selected by us in the third. Although, Aaron, his teammate is bigger, we thought more of his teammate as a safety and we think Curtis is a cover-corner who can play the nickel, as well as play at the outside position.

Re: Interceptions and skills:I think he's got good hands. I think that the team picked on his teammates more than himself. When you look at it, they just didn't throw a lot his way, and I thought that was because his coverage skills were better. He's probably able to contribute faster because he's more developed than his teammates. Overall, he'll help us, especially, on third down.

Re: Ike Taylor situation and Brown's ability to play right away:I can see him helping us. Being that Ike's name is being brought up, I hope we get him signed. I think Ike is probably one of the more underrated cornerbacks in the league. He does a very good job of duck and run, and that's a rare talent. If we can somehow find a way to get Ike back and get Curtis involved that will just strengthen an already strong secondary.

Re: Speed on tape:He's very quick; he's more quick than he is fast. When you have a receiver who is able to cover, that's what we're looking for, and I think that's one of the things Dick LeBeau liked about him as well. He's just a solid cover corner. To get Curtis at the bottom of the third is a good pick for us.

Re: Strength:That's one of the things we looked at as well, but when you look at him on film he won't shy away from contact and he's scrappy. He throws his body around and that will serve him well, especially if he has to contribute on special teams.

Re: Using Brown in the Nickel:Yes we can use him in the nickel back. I think that's where he'll get most of his time, early on, on third down.

Re: Awards at Texas:He's played special teams, and I think he'll service us well in that aspect. Working him out down there, we didn't get a chance to see him through the whole workout because he had the flu. But, we saw enough on tape to obviously pick him in the third.

Re: Being a return man:I don't think they're going to look at him at returner. I think he is what I said he is, he's a cover corner.

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